Spicy noodles with sea bass and pickles

This recipe seems like a lot of faff but actually it’s really quick and only needs a little bit of peeling, chopping and whizzing in the food processor. You can cook everything in one pan and the dish certainly has the wow factor with the bright bundle of pickles laying on top.

Serves 2

For the pickles:
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 large cucumber, cored and julienned
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tbsp fine sea salt
20ml rice vinegar
45ml water

For the sauce:
1 red chilli
3 cloves garlic
10cm ginger
4 spring onions, ends trimmed
1 pak choi, leaves taken off the the base
1 tsp chilli bean paste or sriracha (to taste)
1/2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
2 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 skin-on sea bass fillets
400g udon noodles, soaked in hot water and drained

To make the pickles, place the julienned vegetables into a bowl and massage the sugar and salt into them. Once absorbed, pour over the vinegar and water and leave to stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all the ingredients into a food processor, and whizzing to a chunky consistency.

Slash the skin side of the fish and salt both sides well. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan or wok over a medium heat and, when it begins to shimmer, lay the fish in the pan skin side down. Cook the fish for three minutes, remove the pan from the heat and flip the fish to let the other side cook in the residual heat for a further minute. Remove from the pan and keep the fillets warm.

Add more oil to the pan if it’s looking dry and then add in your spicy paste. Fry this for a couple of minutes until the flavours are released. Add your noodles to the pan and fry them for another minute or two, coating them with your sauce.

When you’re ready to serve, place your noodles at the bottom of the bowl, place the fish on top and finally top the fish with your drained pickles.

Image via Flickr